I am struggling to get my Glowforge to cut through all the way. I have tried to cut a few different sheets of Baltic Birch plywood (3mm), as well as a thinner “wood chip” that I got from Amazon (2.5mm). I also had the same issue with the Proofgrade Draft Board.
So far, out of 20+ tries I’ve only been able to cut through once or twice, and that was within the first 5 cuts I made on the machine. Since then, I can’t get it cutting through completely. I have tried the following:
Doing multiple passes of cuts. When I first got the Glowforge, I did the “Gift of Good Measure” on my Baltic Birch plywood and it cut completely through after doing 2 passes. However, I’ve since gone back and tried that same sheet with no luck, even with 3-4 passes. Looking at the wood, the depth of the cut doesn’t appear to go half way through the sheet.
I tried decreasing the speed of cut. I started out at 168, went down to 165, then 160, and so on all the way down to 120. Once I got to 120, the wood started charring quite a bit, but it still didn’t cut all the way through.
I tried adjusting the focus height to the exact thickness of my wood. I was originally using the Proofgrade Maple for 1/8" plywood which was set to .13. I changed it to .118 inches (3mm), but that didn’t seem to do anything.
I followed all the steps for cleaning the lenses with the wipes. I also cleaned the mirror, which seemed spotless anyway. I didn’t notice anything that didn’t look right, though I’m not sure I’d notice if there was a problem. After cleaning, it didn’t seem to help and I’ve had the same results- it won’t cut all the way through.
I’m really at a loss and don’t know what else to try. My crumb tray is a bit warped, and they are going to replace it, but I believe it is stable enough for me to cut a small piece of wood in the center. I was hoping this wouldn’t be so difficult. I know that using proofgrade materials is recommended, but I can’t fit anything wider than 12" without being un-level and/or wobbling concerns.
Can anyone think of anything else that I can try? I don’t give up easily. I’m running out of ideas. I just want to be able to cut through something all the way. Engraving seems fine, it’s just making the cuts.